FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 06, 1999

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Virginia Economic Development Partnership Awards Shell Building Loans to Four Localities
--Governor Gilmore announces loans for Charlotte and Washington Counties; Cities of Martinsville and -


Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has named four Virginia localities as recipients of loans for state-funded shell buildings. Charlotte County, Washington County, and the Cities of Martinsville and Suffolk were competitively selected by VEDP from a statewide applicant pool. The Virginia Shell Building Initiative was started in 1989 to offer attractive financing to communities interested in constructing an industrial shell building.

"Experience has shown that over 75 percent of business prospects begin their search looking for existing facilities," Governor Gilmore said. "These loans will assist the four winning Virginia localities in promoting their business location assets to corporations worldwide."

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) provides funding, on a five-year loan basis, to competitively selected communities for the construction of market-driven shell buildings. VEDP pays the interest payments on behalf of the loan recipient (localities or local industrial development authorities) for up to five years. When a building is sold or at the end of five years, whichever comes first, the loan recipient pays the principal back to the VRS and the accrued interest payments back to VEDP. Communities deemed to have high or above average fiscal stress, as determined by the Virginia Commission on Local Government, are forgiven two to four interest rate points when repaying the interest payments to VEDP.

The shell building loans were awarded for a 50,400 square-foot building in the Charlotte County Industrial Park located in Keysville at the intersection of Highway 15 and State Route 712; an 87,500 square-foot building in the Glade Highlands Industrial Park located in Washington County on U.S. Highway 11 near Interstate 81; a 50,000 square-foot building in the Clearview Business Park located in Martinsville on the corner of Clearview and Progress Drive; and a 50,000 square-foot building in the Suffolk Industrial Park located in Suffolk on Carolina Road at U.S. Route 13 and State Route 32.

"In the competitive arena of economic development, it is essential that all regions of Virginia have available sites and buildings," Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal said. "These four communities firmly demonstrated their need for a shell building and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership will assist them in marketing the facilities."

To date, seven shell building loans have been awarded. Loans have ranged from $550,000 to $1,413,000. The maximum loan the VRS will make to a locality is $1.5 million. Four buildings have been constructed and sold in the following localities: Carroll County, Greensville County, Halifax County, and the city of Waynesboro. These four buildings, ranging in size from 56,000 square feet to 86,170 square feet, have resulted in the direct investment of $104 million and the creation of 775 jobs. Indirectly, an additional $26 million in capital investment and 275 jobs can be attributed to these buildings.

Currently, there are two active shell building loans to Pittsylvania and Pulaski Counties. The shell buildings in these localities were constructed in 1997 and are being actively marketed at the state, regional and local levels. A loan made to the City of Hampton has been returned to the state since the city sold the proposed shell building site to Gateway Computers in 1999.


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